Whether you’re catering for a wedding reception or a corporate event, a buffet is one of the easiest ways to feed a large group of people. However, there is an art to getting it right so that people mingle, everybody has enough to eat and your buffet table looks amazing.
Here at Linen Rental, we help our customers to choose the best table linens for their guests and we also know a thing or two about setting out the perfect buffet table. Here are 10 of our best tips to ensure your table is stylish and streamlined so that it gets people moving along the line.
If you want to get people mingling while also controlling the crowd, position your table away from where people will be seated. This will ensure people grab their food and move straight back to their seats rather than standing around getting in the way of others.
Plates, Napkins And Cutlery
It can be quite a task to juggle items at a buffet table, so make it easy for your guests by placing the plates at one end of the table and napkins and cutlery at the other. This will help them to focus on their plates without worrying about dropping anything while they are choosing food.
Arrange Food In Order
If you are serving a hot buffet with sauces or gravy, make sure these are placed at the end of the table so that guests can use these last.
Intersperse Food Wisely
There are many buffet favourites that people will tend to congregate around, so spread out these old faithfuls along the table to keep guests moving along.
Let People Decide On What They Want
Some guests may be on a diet or could be intolerant to certain foods. Leave condiments and dressings off of some foods, such as salad, so that people can choose to add these items themselves.
Serve Drinks In A Different Area
To stop people circling around the coffee or soft drinks machine, have these situated in a separate area to your buffet table.
It’s a great idea to put labels on some items, especially vegetarian or gluten-free items, or even food dishes where it may not be obvious what they are.
Make It Easy To Grab And Eat
While that chilli and rice may seem like a great idea for a buffet, it’s not always a good idea for guests who are balancing plates and drinks. Instead, think of easy to grab and eat finger buffet foods that can be eaten in one or two bites.
Don’t Put Everything Out At The Same Time
If you’ve got a large number of guests, double up on the most popular dishes and top up your table as dishes start to run out. If you have a dessert planned then clear your buffet table of the main course items and create a dessert table about an hour after everybody has finished the main buffet. This will give everybody time to rest and digest between courses.